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Definitive Guide to Benjamin Gunnar

The airgun world is progressing toward the tactical side of things. This trend has been happening for some time, and the Benjamin Gunnar pcp air rifle is what Crosman / Benjamin is offering up for their AR-style Chassis airgun. How does it shoot? What kind of build quality are we getting? What makes it stand out in a sea of other "AR" airgun variants? Well, that's what we'll be looking at today in our definitive guide on the Benjamin Gunnar.

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Detailed Review

The Benjamin Gunnar is a solidly built AR-style airgun that features an AR Stock and AR Grip. It's a bottle forward, regulated PCP airgun that operates from a 3000 PSI fill pressure. It has a fully shrouded barrel with integrated baffles. It ships with an adaptor which provides a 1/2 UNF connector for after-market airgun moderators. It's available in both .22 and .25 caliber. Our test model is the .25 caliber and includes two 10-shot magazines. The .22 version ships with two 12-shot magazines.

The buttstock is a better than average, multi-position, adjustable, AR-style buttstock. Shooters can adjust the pull length and cheek piece for optimal comfort and eye relief. You'll find a really nice and comfortable AR-style Grip as we pan forward.

As we get to the receiver, you'll find a safety sitting right above your thumb. The Gunnar comes set up for right-handed shooters and is NOT ambidextrous, so this is your only option if you are a lefty. The trigger is fully adjustable and breaks at a clean 10.2 oz from the factory. This is a very nice trigger.

On the left side of the receiver, just below and in front of the mag slot, you'll find the variable power adjuster. We'll talk about velocities and how this impacts later in this guide. There is a ball detent to ensure that the magazine does not wander when out in the field. Generally speaking, most shooters will set the power adjustment to "high" power and leave it there. The only reason not to run high would be if you adjusted the regulator for max power for slugs and wanted to tame it a little for pellets. We did not do so for this guide, as you have to remove the bottle to adjust the regulator. We shot it as sent from the factory.

Underneath the receiver, you'll find the front rail. Here's where we find our first minor issue with the Gunnar. The Gunnar weighs in at about 8.26 pounds without a scope. If you mount a bipod at the front of the rail for optimal stability, the rail will bend and impact the bottle. It's simply not strong enough to support the weight of the rifle. This does not impact the accuracy whatsoever, but it looks bad and should be sturdier. To combat this, you can simply attach your bipod towards the back of the rail where it attaches to the receiver.

Just behind the rail, you'll find the gauge that shows the regulator pressure. As mentioned above, you can adjust the reg, but it requires draining the tank, then removing the tank, making the adjustment, reassembling and refilling the tank, and then testing. If you are not where you want to be pressure-wise, you'll need to repeat the process until you get your desired pressure. It's nice that you can adjust the reg, but it would be MUCH nicer if you could do all this with the bottle attached. Our reg came adjusted to about 1800 from the factory. If given a chance, we'd like to push that to about 2400 and do more testing to see if we could get closer to 50 to 55 FPE vs. the stock 43ish from Benjamin.

As stated earlier, the aluminum bottle is fairly large and operates at 3000 PSI, and is filled via a standard foster fitting connector. We see this as a positive feature as it makes the gun more accessible for those that can't fill to 4500 PSI. Additionally, the shot count is a solid 50 shots on the regulator while shooting on high power. Finally, there's a pressure gauge on the side of the bottle that shows the current bottle pressure. You want to ensure that you stay above your reg pressure for optimal performance.

The shrouded barrel with integrated baffles does a good job of keeping the shot noise under control. We topped out at 108 DB shooting on high power and 101 on low power. For those that want it even quieter, you can use the included 1/2 UNF shroud adaptor and after-market moderator. In our tests, we saw a 10DB reduction when using a 3rd party moderator in addition to the integrated baffles.

Performance & Accuracy

We shot several pellets through our .25 cal Benjamin Gunnar. The best pellets were the 25.4-grain JSB Kings and the 26.5 grain Hades. The regulator is very efficient regardless of either pellet. A typical 40 shot string yielded an extreme spread of only 11 FPS with a standard deviation of only 2.8 FPS. That is exceptional.

Velocity would vary with each pellet, but the power output remained very stable at about 43 FPE on average. We'd like to see this pushing about 55 to 60 FPE as we think it would really help the Gunnar reach out past our basic 50-yard tests.

Regarding the power adjuster, we found it totally functional, delivering a usable spread of about 200 FPS depending on the pellet. Your mileage may vary, and we don't know how adjusting the reg would impact that performance.

We've spent a lot of time on the features and basic performance, which all make the Gunnar look pretty darn attractive. And it just gets better from there. It's a very smooth experience from start to finish. The cocking lever is easy to work, and the magazine cycles without issue. The light trigger and minimal recoil add to the overall shootability and make for a very fun time at the bench.

The Gunnar seems purpose-built for bench rest shooting, and we had a hard time putting it down. We shot all our tests at 50 yards, and here are our results. We had somewhat windy conditions but nothing raging. However, I'm sure the wind had some impact. In perfect conditions, we'd expect these groups to tighten up a good bit.

10 shots taken at 50 yards for both targets.

Summing Up

The Benjamin Gunnar pcp comes in at $1000, which is asking a lot for a Benjamin branded airgun. But, we feel that the ask is in line with the build quality, form factor, features, and performance. Moreover, with the ability to adjust the reg up or down, shooters can tailor their Gunnar to their specific needs. It's a little underpowered for pushing slugs, but we would expect that to change by simply turning up the reg. Having the power adjuster on the side would allow you to shoot slugs on high and then drop the power down for pellets. This may eliminate the need for changing the reg back and forth.

On another note, we shot our test using the Hawke Vantage 30 SF FFP scope. It matched well to our test platform and really made the entire package a pleasure to review.

If you want to know more about the Benjamin Gunnar air rifle and all the various accessories and options, please don't hesitate to give us a call, and we'll be happy to make sure that you get the right setup for your needs.